Celebrating the identity, heritage, & culture of Ulster & the Ulster-Scots (a.k.a. "Scots-Irish") people worldwide!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Francis Hutcheson: Teacher of Adam Smith (early Ulster-Scots philosopher & economist)

Francis Hutcheson (August 8, 1694 – August 8, 1746) was a philosopher and economist born in Drumalig in County Down to a family of Ulster-Scots Presbyterians who became one of the founding fathers of the Scottish Enlightenment.

(mp3 audio) Francis Hutcheson: Teacher of Adam Smith

Ulster Plantation... who got what

The Ulster plantation (or homecoming) was said to be a forerunner for the settlement of Virginia.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ulster + Dixie + Eagle

This is a picture I took today of multiple flags laying upon each other with a light behind them. It turned out pretty cool, I thought.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

North Carolina

Sketches of North Carolina,by Rev William Foote

Rev William Foote (1794-1869) was of English descent. In 1822 he married Eliza Glass a minister's daughter of Ulster-Scots descent whose grandparents had come from Banbridge in Co Down

His writings are full of admiration for the Ulster-Scots who came to America and who made up the Scotch-Irish communities and congregations with whom he shared spiritual conviction and cultural values, and among whom he spent his life. The notes he collected in North Carolina formed the core of his 600 page epic Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers which was published in 1846. It's freely available online. The first four chapters are about American history, but chapters 5 - 9 are a detailed retelling of Ulster-Scots history and seem to be largely based on James Seaton Reid's account. Chapter 5 is entitled "Origin of the Scotch-Irish": –

"...Ulster began to send out swarms to America; shipload after shipload of men trained to labor and habits of independence, sought the American shores; year after year the tide rolled on without once ebbing; and many thousands of these descendants of the emigrants from Scotland, disdaining to be called Irish, filled the upper country of Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. Ulster, in Ireland, has been an exhaustless hive, a perennial spring..."

The book is free on Google Books online.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Ulster-Scots come to the North American frontier

The following two videos are part of a series from a while back. This particular part of the series (videos 4 and 5) is about the Ulster-Scots, their migration to North America, their travels down the Appalachian trail and their influence on the culture and speech of the people of the American South.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Born Fighting 2

Part of a preview from the Record newspaper.

Senator Webb, author of Born Fighting: How The Scots-Irish Shaped America, is a direct descendant of the Scots whose centuries-long journey to the US via Northern Ireland was propelled by the reformation of the church in the 1500s
The series, Born Fighting, delivers a fascinating historical account of the Scots-Irish exodus.

Webb, a democrat who represents Virginia, said: "The Scots-Irish culture has had incredible impact in the US. And yet the most incredible thing about it is how little today's Scotland, Ireland and America know about them. The culture, values and fighting spirit of the Scots-Irish have shaped America. It's vital we know more about these people."

Webb said: "I have many ancestors who endured the Siege of Derry and left Ireland for America.
"In the early years, the siege burned in their memories as evidenced in the letters which I still keep. As the generations passed, those memories faded, but not the motivations which had compelled them to resist. This has been in the Scots-Irish DNA since the time of Hadrian's Wall.
"It was there before Derry, it would sustain them on the American frontier and it is with us still."

Soon after the Siege of Derry in 1689. Queen Anne's penal laws slowed the Scottish surge into Ulster, decreeing that all office holders must be Episcopalian.
Presbyterian Scots-Irish leaders lost their jobs and prospects, and turned their attention to the promised land across the sea.
"If the English government wasn't going to let them live freely in Ulster, then they would take their labour and values elsewhere. And they'd all heard of the promised land across the sea.
"The early exodus also represented economic opportunity and the chance to look after both body and soul.
"Some were motivated by religion, some by money, others had had enough of the turmoil. But all were carrying their Ulster Scots tradition with them. And each had agreed to take a one-way trip to the wilderness of America."

The first settlers endured horrific conditions, crossing the Atlantic for three months in returning cargo ships which had carried flax seed to Ulster. They arrived in New Hampshire, naming the town Londonderry, the first Scots-Irish community in America. Hundreds of thousands followed throughout the 18th century.

"They must have wanted it pretty badly," said Webb, "considering the conditions they endured. But their arrival made America the land it is today.
"Their willingness to fight helped America win the War of Independence, their daring spirit helped open up the frontiers, and the music, drinks and prayers they carried became the life-blood of America.
"They transformed it. Everywhere I look I see the impact of the Scots-Irish on modern American life - our military, our churches, our music."

The earliest Scots-Irish settlers to the east-coast colonies were used as "buffers" between the Amish folk of Pennsylvania and the native Americans "over the hill", where their combative spirit, farming skills and freedom to exercise their religious beliefs were well-placed.
Webb said: "The Ulster Scots believed God wanted them to work hard to improve their lot."
Scots-Irish brought whisky and the roots of folk music, a tradition continued in the country sound of Nashville and singers like Johnny Cash, who had Scots ancestors.

But they weren't the only key imports brought by the Scots-Irish.
Having spread south from the eastern seaboard, the lack of Presbyterian ministers forced them to seek spiritual comfort from Baptist and Methodist preachers.
Webb said: "They led to the foundation of what we know as the Bible Belt. The Scots-Irish attitudes have helped shape America. But this is a competitive culture and many of its members have reached the very top.

"The traits of individualism and ambition have sent no less than 17 men to the White House."
These include Andrew Jackson, James Monroe, Theodore Roosevelt, George Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Senator Webb added: "Neil Armstrong's progress to the Moon began many centuries ago when his ancestors left Scotland for Ireland.
"The Scots-Irish are the core at the centre of the spirit of America.
"They helped build this country from the bottom up."